I’ve heard a little bit of buzz recently about the recent GITA event and the low attendance at said event once again – even though the event was co-located with ACSM. Some of the reasons for low attendance at events organized by GITA and other industry orgs are obvious: poor economy, reluctance to travel, many competing events, many other choices. I do think there’s also a couple of other contributing factors.
CONFLICT – Firstly, the annual GITA event is typically held in the spring during a busy conference period – this year GITA/ACSM took place the SAME week as ASPRS… OOPS! This seems to happen pretty much every year, although in their defense, the Spring conference period is a busy one and having no conflict is likely pretty tough. An option, perhaps tag-teaming the event to coincide with another event in the same city could be a plan and enable attendees and vendors to hit 2 shows in one week – imagine if you could come to Denver, CO and attend/exhibit at GIS in the Rockies and GITA in the same week or schedule GITA and ASPRS for the same city, same week but not overlapping?? Just a thought…
COOLNESS – Lack of innovation… for many, the GITA event is somewhat “old school”… that’s not necessarily a bad thing, however, in this era of web services, the cloud, new media, web2.0, and social media, people are expecting change – enter WHERE2.0. the annual O’reilly Media event is cool ,hip, trendy, social, etc… I have to admit, people are drawn to such events and the success of Where2.0 is a testament to that.
Location Location Location… for many years now I’ve been wondering “will GITA ever be held in Denver again”? This may not solve all the problems with GITA event, however, when i look back in time, some of the best GITA events I’ve ever attended were held right in GITA’s backyard in Denver, Colorado. N. Colorado is home to a huge number of GIS and Geo tech companies and consultants and is even self-proclaimed as GIS Alley. GIS In The Rockies is an annual fall event has has decent attendance, and I’m sure that the Spring GITA conference would do quite well in Denver.
Note: our company had 3 people who attended GITA/ACSM and ASPRS